Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


School of Education

First Advisor

Jenelle Stone, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Marc Shelton, Ed.D.


In this improvement science dissertation in practice (ISDiP), a continuous improvement cycle was used to attempt to reduce office discipline referrals on the playground with 4th and 5th grade students. The intervention involved a team of peers who received training to recognize prosocial behaviors in students on the playground. Over the course of 90 days, Peer Influencers went to recess and rewarded positive behavior with Recess Compliments. A networked improvement committee (NIC) was formed to examine the effects on office discipline referrals and consider adaptations that needed to be implemented. Quantitative data was examined in the form of office discipline referrals. Two questions were examined: Did office discipline referrals decrease in comparison to pre-intervention referrals? Did office discipline referrals decrease in comparison to the same time period in the previous school year? The conceptual framework used for this study was that of Applied Behavioral Analysis as it is applied in schools through the Positive Behavior Intervention Supports (PBIS) system. Positive reinforcement was used to attempt to reduce the number of office discipline referrals for 4th and 5th grade students on the playground. The findings showed that the intervention did not decrease office discipline referrals compared to pre-intervention referrals. Findings also showed that while referrals were reduced compared to the same time period in a previous school year, this difference was not statistically significant. Possible changes to the intervention are discussed, as are future implications for research.

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